Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad spoke Monday about the "wide-open" nature of the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses in the wake of Mike Huckabee's recent announcement that he won't run for president in 2012.

"I want to welcome all current and potential 2012 presidential candidates to campaign here, meet with Iowans and participate in the full caucus process," Brandstad said.

Huckabee won the Iowa GOP presidential caucuses in 2008, and his absence from the 2012 Iowa caucuses effectively throws open an opportunity for would-be Republican presidential candidates to line up new Iowa supporters.

After Brandstad's comments, Politico's Alexander Burns explored the divergent Iowa strategies Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr. are expected to employ.

"Mitt Romney (spent) millions in Iowa in 2008, only to lose to the under-funded Huckabee. Romney has treaded lightly in Iowa this time around and is only now preparing to make his first visit of the year, on May 27. … Jon Huntsman sounds like he may skip Iowa entirely. Like Romney, Huntsman appears to be betting heavily on New Hampshire."

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